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Undergraduate Laboratories

Undergraduate Laboratories

  • Chemistry Placement/Competency Exams: There are multiple ways to receive credit for laboratory courses held by the department.
    • Placement Exams: Each semester, the department offers the opportunity for students to receive credit for CHEM 101/101L, CHEM 102/102L, or both through placement exams. These exams are usually offered the day before classes begin at the start of each semester. For more up-to-date information, please go to the Credit by Exam or Transfer (link: page.
    • CHEM 101L Competency Exam: In addition to the department’s exams above, the Undergraduate Labs offers the opportunity in the fall semester for students to receive credit for CHEM 101L by means of a competency exam. This exam is usually held on the first Friday of the fall semester. Please contact the current CHEM 101L instructor for more information.
  • Chemistry Lab Courses Pre-/Co-Requisites by Course: In order to take a specific lab course, you must have completed and/or received credit for the pre-requisite courses; and either be enrolled in or have received credit for the corequisite courses. See the table below for course-specific information. If you have questions, contact with Undergraduate Advising.
    CHEM 101L-CHEM 101
    CHEM 102LCHEM 101 and 101LCHEM 102 or 102H
    CHEM 241LCHEM 102LCHEM 241 or 241H
    CHEM 245LCHEM 102LCHEM 241H
    CHEM 262LCHEM 102L; and 241L or 245LCHEM 262 or 262H
    CHEM 441L-CHEM 441
    CHEM 481L-CHEM 482
    CHEM 482LCHEM 482-
    CHEM 520L-CHEM 420 or 421 oR 425
    CHEM 530LBIOL 202CHEM 430
    CHEM 550LCHEM 241L or 245L; and 262L or 263L-
  • Lab Check-In: Check-in policies and procedures vary per course. See your course’s Sakai (link: page for detailed information about when your first meeting will be, where this meeting will be held, and the materials you will need.
    • Dress Requirements: Safety is our number one priority in the Morehead Chemistry Labs. In order to be allowed into lab, including check-in day, students must wear closed-toed shoes with socks to cover the ankle, long pants/dresses, shirts that cover the entire torso and has sleeves (of any length), and hair-ties to hold back long hair.
  • TA Office Hours: TA office hours are held in Morehead Labs 408A. Hours vary. Please see your course’s Sakai page (link: for more information.
  • Undergraduate Opportunities:
    • UG Teaching Assistant (TA) Opportunities: Interested in gaining teaching experience while earning a stipend, apply to be an Undergraduate TA. Find more information in the Undergraduate Teaching page.
    • UG Prep Staff: Through the Federal Work Study Program, undergraduates are hired to assist with daily operations of Morehead Labs including reagent preparations, delivery of chemicals and supplies, set up of instrumentation and equipment, and removal of hazardous waste. If you are interested in gaining valuable work experience while also gaining insights into how our lab functions, please apply.
  • Teaching Assistant Awards: Did you have a great chemistry TA? Do you want to find a way to recognize your TAs for their efforts? Please consider nominating your TA for a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants, or a Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Award, SUTASA.

About Us

Undergraduate chemistry lab courses are offered year-round in Morehead Labs to around 5,000 students from across the university. Our mission is to create a safe and collaborative environment in which students connect and explore modern chemical concepts through inquiry guided experimentation and research. Our vision is developing skillful, engaged, and innovative scientists.

Undergraduate Labs


The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing a safe and productive environment for both students and staff. The highest standards of scholarship can only be attained in an environment that emphasizes a Culture of Safety. All laboratories are required to adhere to safety rules and regulations. In 2018, the Department of Environment, Health, and Safety and the Department of Chemistry received the Safety Stratus College and University Health and Safety Award.

Undergraduate Labs


Nitrile gloves and disposable lab coats are recycled in Morehead Labs. The program has received Right Cycle awards in 2016 and 2018 for recycling nitrile gloves. Over 1500 lbs of gloves and about 5000 lab coats are recycled annually.


Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, CUREs, are courses in which students learn technical skills to tackle cutting-edge research questions. The following lab courses follow the CURE design or include a CURE module: CHEM245L, CHEM262L, CHEM290, CHEM520L, CHEM530L and CHEM550L.

Undergraduate Labs

Madeline Cooke, standing, transplants lettuce with other volunteers at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. Cooke began volunteering there each Sunday after taking a chemistry class that required her to do service time in the garden.

In these courses, neither the student nor the professor knows the answer to the questions. This is real research, not step-by-step procedures from lab manuals. Besides answering novel questions, a CURE has four other characteristics:

  1. There are chances for students to fail and try again
  2. Students take ownership of their project
  3. There is meaningful collaboration with peers
  4. Students communicate their findings outside the classroom.

Read more about Celebration of Undergraduate Research

Read more about CURE-ious Chemistry


In all lab courses, you will utilize modern instrumentation including pH probes, UV-Vis spectrometers, gas chromatographs, photoreactors, potentiostats, and benchtop NMRs. Students enrolled in higher labs (levels 400 and 500) will have the opportunity to work with more advanced instrumentation, including a microwave reactor, FT-IR spectrometer, high pressure liquid and capillary electrophoresis chromatographs (HPLC and CE), and gel permeation chromatograph (GPC). In addition, some courses utilize instrumentation housed within our departmental facilities, including mass spectrometry and high strength NMR instrumentation.

Mac McNamee – Undergraduate Labs Supervisor:

Tyler Motley, PhD – Undergraduate Labs Supervisor:

Kathleen Nevins, PhD – Director Undergraduate Laboratories:



For other CHEM lab instructors, see the Chemistry directory

Office: 102 Morehead Labs, 115 South Road, 919-962-2095, open during lab sessions; lost and found.

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